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Strange Tales Paperback – September 8, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (September 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785128026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785128021
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* A truly strange anthology indeed, this excellent collection gathers some of the top names in alternative comics and unleashes them on the Marvel universe. Similar to the DC parodies in Bizarro Comics (2002), these fresh takes on Marvel’s classic characters include some weird, humorous, often psychedelic results. Among the off-kilter best are Dr. Strange’s psychic battle at a diner over a poisoned bowl of soup, by Dash Shaw (BodyWorld, 2010); the oddly touching rework of the Hulk as a grumpy child, by James Kochalka (American Elf); autobiographical true-farceur Jeffrey Brown re-imagining the Fantastic Four as a group of bored pranksters; a restrained Johnny Ryan (Angry Youth Comix) envisioning the Punisher telling an at-risk youth to stay in school—or else; and droll genre parodist Jason making anthropomorphic animals out of Spider-Man and Doc Octopus getting into a bar fight. Though longtime alt-comics fans will be thrilled to see Peter Bagge’s “lost comic” The Incorrigible Hulk finally in print, the real winner here is Maakies creator Tony Millionaire’s completely whacked Iron Man adventure: the troubled hero (Millionaire would pick a reformed alcoholic) goes head-to-head with the nefarious Baloney-Head and his sidekick, Liver-Wurst Face (with a surprise appearance by Dwight D. Eisenhower!). Weird and totally unique, Strange Tales is like seeing your favorite heroes and villains in a fun-house mirror, with the emphasis on fun. --Carlos Orellana --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philip S. Wolf on September 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book collects issues 1-3 of Strange Tales. With over two dozen of alternative and online comics greatest artists and writers featured in this book, there is a very good chance of you discovering a comics creator or three that you did know of before seeing them herein.

I came for Peter Bagge, and stuck around to enjoy Tony Millionaire, Stan Sakai, Max Cannon, Jason and the always zanny Johnny Ryan. What these artists are up to here is to take The Hulk, Ironman, The Punisher, Spider-Man and The Sub-Mariner, and knock our heroes down by a few pegs. And as these tales are both very weird and very funny, they might have gotten it right.

This book reminds me an awful lot of "Heavy Metal" magazine circa 1977, and as that was such a great way to introduce the world to the greats of that era, this is indeed a great thing to see in the year 2010, history repeats itself!

The color and print of this book is top-notch, and my biggest gripe is that I should have shelled out a few more dollars and gotten the hardbound edition as it seems to be the better buy over the paperback edition.
If you enjoy comics, this is for you.
(and if Baloney-Head, doesn't make you smile, call the coroner, you is dead!)
Three and a half stars!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
The book takes the same premise as DC's Bizarro books where well known comic book heroes appear silly and go on daffy adventures. It's the comic book equivalent of going on vacation.

So with that in mind I was looking for a good time, some jokes, some light entertainment. And most of the book is just this. I enjoyed James Kochalka's Hulk scripts where he has Hulk fight Rain (yes the weather) and write a diary. Jason's Spiderman is insecure that he hasn't ever been in a bar fight and so goes out to a bar and starts one. Nicholas Gurewitch, he of the excellent Perry Bible Fellowship series, writes two excellent one pagers of Wolverine and Hulk. Jeffrey Brown contributes a funny Fantastic Four strip while Peter Bagge provides the most substantial works found here with lengthy stories on both Spiderman and Hulk. He makes Spiderman a corporate shill after reading Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" and deciding to follow the book's teachings. Hulk and Bruce Banner meanwhile become embroiled in a disastrous love triangle.

But most of the stuff here is kinda dull. There are numerous strips here that go on and on: a Punisher strip that is drawn so poorly and is about nothing at all; numerous Modok and Iron Man shorts that never take off; a poorly conceived Brother Voodoo strip; Black Widow doing nothing more than what she usually does - surveillance and intelligence gathering. And so on. It showed that much of the book was made up of half-baked ideas at best and were trying to read.

So there's some stuff that's good but generally I found the book a bit weak. The stories never seemed that imaginative nor funny and it could've been a lot better than it was. An ok collection.
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Format: Paperback
I've been reading a lot of comics from the library recently, but it hasn't been since I discovered Michael Allred that I had as much fun reading one as I have with this latest version of Marvel's Strange Tales, where the Marvel editors invite a whole bunch of indie cartoonists to try their hand at re-telling some Marvel tales, with great results!! I only recognise a few of the names, such as Peter Bagge of Hate fame, here having a go at several pages of Spider-man and the Hulk tales, while Max Cannon (of Red Meat fame) turns in shorter, more surreal (if that's possible) entries. Funnily enough, several of the artists pick MODOK as one of their subjects. Thank Crom there is a second volume, which I'm going to read next.

In the opening pages Nick Bertozzi has fun making jest of Uatu, The Watcher (and who more deserving of being made fun of), giving this sort of a "What If?" feel to it - in particular referencing Issue 32 of that series, which was the joke issue; his one-page episodes appear throughout the book, and the one where he's sharing a cell with the Leader is pretty funny. Paul Pope takes on the Inhumans, with a spotlight on Lockjaw, who never seems to get fed because there's always some enemy (the Molecule Man, Annihilus, Maximus...) distracting the Inhumans from opening the can of dog food for the poor mutt!!! Hilarious, and great art. Molly Crabapple tells some sort of weird Victorian wedding between John Jameson and Jennifer Walters with weird Wuthering Heights overtones. Nice, though, and very moody and surreal, with plenty of character development in just its four pages. Junko Mizuno tells a pretty funny kawaii story of Spider-man and Mary Jane moving to a town of real spiders, all of whom outclass and out-do Spidey. Funny.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unless you like alternative comics in general then it will be hard to say whether this is for you. Roughly half of this collection consists of quirky humorous spoofs on familiar Marvel characters, being the offbeat kind of humor normally found from the Kitchen Sink Press, and the rest is what I would describe as being odd alternative narrations using Marvel characters that aren't necessarily trying to parody as much as being a form of literary experimentation. In both the humorous material and the more serious work, there's some of it that works and some of it that doesn't.

What I enjoyed most about this collection were the well written oddball humorous pieces. There is some truly great parody stuff to be found here, but there is also a lot of stories that left me wondering what the point was supposed to be. I was also surprised to find that many of the creators that I thought would appeal to me most were often only mildly entertaining compared to some of the lesser known artists. Having read a fair amount of alternative comic books in my time, I should have realized that just because an artist is great at creating dynamic visuals does not necessarily mean they are apt at writing dynamic or engaging stories.

In general I liked volume 1 more than volume 2, and there is enough worthwhile material to make the whole collection worth checking out, but to honest I found it to be about half and half.
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